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Early life violence tied to mental disorders-study

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July 3 | Tue Jul 3, 2012 5:42am IST

July 3 (Reuters) - People who remember being pushed, slapped and hit as children are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and personality disorders later in life, according to an international study covering thousands of people.

Canadian researchers whose results were published in the journal Pediatrics estimated that between two and seven percent of those mental disorders might be due to punishments inflicted in childhood, not including more severe forms of abuse.

"People believe that as long as you don't cross that line into child maltreatment, and the physical punishment is controlled and doesn't cross the line into abuse, it won't have any negative long-term consequences for the child," said study leader Tracie Afifi at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

"The way we see it is along a continuum of having no violence to severe violence," Afifi said.

Up to half of all children may be spanked as punishment, but Afifi and her team wanted to look at harsher punishments, such as shoving and hitting.

The study team used data collected by United States Census interviewers in 2004 and 2005 in surveys of close to 35,000 adults across the country.

The interviewers asked participants about how often they were physically punished as kids, other problems their families had - such as parents who had drug problems or went to jail - and about their symptoms of mental disorders, current or past.

Afifi and her colleagues didn't include anyone who reported being physically, sexually or emotionally abused by family members in order to focus on the effect of punishment that didn't go so far as to constitute maltreatment.

They found about six percent of interview subjects had been punished beyond spanking "sometimes," "fairly often" or "very often" - and those people with a history of harsh physical punishment were more likely to have a range of mood and personality disorders or to abuse drugs and alcohol.

For example, 20 percent of people who remembered being physically punished had been depressed and 43 percent had abused alcohol at some point. That compared to 16 percent of people who weren't hit or slapped who had been depressed and 30 percent who drank too much.

Those links held up after the researchers took into account family problems, including which participants' parents had been treated for mental illness themselves - and interviewees' race, income and education level.

Afifi and her team wrote that physical punishment may lead to chronic stress in children, which could then increase their chance of developing depression or anxiety later on.

Michele Knox, a psychiatrist who studies family and youth violence at the University of Toledo College of Medicine, agreed that's a likely explanation.

"Physical punishment is a chronic and sometimes repeated stressor for young people, and we know that chronic and repeated stressors have a negative impact on the brain," said Knox, who wasn't part of the study.

But the findings can't prove the punishments themselves caused the children to develop mood and personality disorders, with Knox pointing out that interviewees may not have known if their parents were treated for mental illness. Depression and anxiety are known to be at least partly genetic. SOURCE: bit.ly/jsoh2P (Reporting from New York by Genevra Pittman at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies and Bob Tourtellotte)

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Someone PMed about my source well hmm..it was reuters I guess that didn't show up , I don't know how to post a link ,I thought it had a link. Sorry.

Have to figure that out.

Oh I just looked at the beginning of the article it says the source is ( Reuters) .....

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OK - so "at times" I can be sarcastic and cynical (I know hard to believe) :yes:

This last paragraph is the one that caught my attention:

But the findings can't prove the punishments themselves caused the children to develop mood and personality disorders, with Knox pointing out that interviewees may not have known if their parents were treated for mental illness. Depression and anxiety are known to be at least partly genetic.

So, they published a paper that CAN'T prove anything! Why publish - unless you have an agenda. You don't want parents to discipline their children - as an example.

Like this -

might be due to punishments inflicted in childhood, not including more severe forms of abuse.

Don't punish your kid and they won't be mentally disseased - NOT!!

How about asking the inventor of humans His thoughts -

Prov 29:21 - "If one is pampering one’s servant from youth on, in his later life he will even become a thankless one." YES this goes for children too.

OR

In truth, proper discipline is a proof of the parent’s love for his child. (Hebrews 12:6, 11) If you are a parent, you know that it is difficult to maintain consistent, reasonable discipline. For the sake of peace, it may seem easier to allow an obstinate teenager to do what he wants. In the long run, however, a parent who follows this latter course will pay for it with a household that is out of control.—Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 6:9.

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Don't punish your kid and they won't be mentally disseased - NOT!!

Dear Brother Jerry,

I didn't see where the article was stating that "proper discipline" (as you quoted from the "Family Happiness" book) was causing ill effects.

As Sister Nancy stated,

Interesting point in the study' date='it was not discussing spankings but harsher treatments such as shoving and hitting.[/quote']
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As a parent raising two girls I used to ponder when, how why of disciplining them to get the desired effect and not do them any damage like this story.

Some times I felt guilty about a sudden slap that was used to get the attention of an out of control 3 year old that there was no reasoning with.

Now, 3 decades later, my girls both turned out well, never in trouble with the law and are gainfully employed and now devoted mothers to 6 of my Grandchildren.

It is now that we talk they tell me of their frustration at fellow parents who are too scared or motivated to discipline their kids and the children are a public menace. Those parents even report that these 'free range' brats cannot be taken to the shops or out to eat lest there be a temper attack that impacts the whole venture for everyone.

My daughters have no bad memories of the few times they got a slap on the bottom at age 3-6 (neither of them recall any smack after they turned 6) as they had learned their lesson.

Times have changed and even the once revered Dr Spock had to recant his theory about childcare. . . so mans ideas are too confusing, Jehovah knows what we all need.

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Don't punish your kid and they won't be mentally disseased - NOT!!

Dear Brother Jerry,

I didn't see where the article was stating that "proper discipline" (as you quoted from the "Family Happiness" book) was causing ill effects.

As Sister Nancy stated,

Interesting point in the study' date='it was not discussing spankings but harsher treatments such as shoving and hitting.[/quote']

It seemed to me they were trying to be subtle about it - for example

Canadian researchers whose results were published in the journal Pediatrics estimated that between two and seven percent of those mental disorders might be due to punishments inflicted in childhood, not including more severe forms of abuse.

So we are talking about punishment, but NOT severe type.

I realize later in the article they say:

Up to half of all children may be spanked as punishment, but Afifi and her team wanted to look at harsher punishments, such as shoving and hitting.

So NOT spanking eh - only HARSHER punishments - like shoving and hitting, but then they say ....

Afifi and her team wrote that physical punishment may lead to chronic stress in children, which could then increase their chance of developing depression or anxiety later on.

So ANY physical punishment - which of course would include spanking :yes:

Yeah - I thought they were very subtle in how they made it sound like spanking should be banned. Meanwhile we know that spanking has its place and won't make your child become mentally diseased - rather quite the opposite is true.

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http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/

This is the background and conclusions of the actual study which was in the Pediatrics magazines.July 2,2012 .

BACKGROUND: The use of physical punishment is controversial. Few studies have examined the relationship between physical punishment

and a wide range of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample. The current research investigated the possible link between harsh physical punishment (ie, pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting) in the absence of more severe child maltreatment (ie, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect,

exposure to intimate partner violence) and Axis I and II mental disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance

abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that

harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders. Pediatrics 2012;130:1–9

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Thanks Nance - that is way more clear.

Spanking OK, but HARSH punishment (pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting) - BAD.

Make sense to me. Did we really need a study for that???

Maybe next they will do a study on whether we are better off with good government vs bad :ecstatic:

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I was interested in the part about shoving and hitting your child, like slapping them around we know you don't beat them up and kick them but physically hitting on them in ways besides a proper spanking on the bottom until they reach a certain age, shouldn't take place and one reason is the effects in later years.

I don't think Jehovah would approve of us smacking them around all the time,as the actual study says repeated stress from such harsh treatment results in various mental disorders. Maybe a parent would not be held accoutable by the congregation or the law for it but knowing the effects should make a parent stop doing it to their child.

Some people,like me for example never learned the proper bounderies of such things as punishing your child.Then you marry someone and he has a whole different view of what punishment is according to how he was knocked around all the time.It is a big issue,the proper punishment of children.

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Speaking from my own personal experience, spanking/hitting a teenager is not effective at all. It makes them angry, simple as that. For me, I was scared/depressed and had no confidence in myself at all. I felt unloved and unwanted, and totally alone.

A little swat on their behind when they are young can be effective, even though I personally never did that myself to my kids. The problem with spanking is if you do it too much, the kids no longer fear it, they are so use to it, it is a way of life for them. I know some parents who spank for every little thing the kid does. Sometimes I will hear them say "if you keep that up, I'm gonna spank you" then I hear the kids respond "so, you spank us all the time already" And these kids are brats!

Kids need to be disciplined, that is a fact, but you can raise kids successfully without spanking. The problem with many parents today is that they don't spank and they don't punish/discipline at all. Kids are allowed to do whatever the want without any form of punishment.

If you choose not to spank your child, you need to find a successful form of punishment that will replace the spanking.

http://www.watchtower.org/e/20061101/article_02.htm

One of my favorite quotes from this article:

"With regard to discipline, the Bible states: “The rod and reproof are what give wisdom.” (Proverbs 29:15) However, not all children need physical punishment. Proverbs 17:10 tells us: “A rebuke works deeper in one having understanding than striking a stupid one a hundred times.”

My husband and I have found that proper punishment such as groundings, extra chores work very well with our teenagers. Another thing we have always done is been consistent with the discipline, our kids have always known what the boundaries were and what the consequences were if they crossed the boundaries. We have also always backed each other up. If my husband was at work, and I grounded the kids, the kids knew without a doubt that when dad got home, he would support me, and I him. So they have always known they can't play us against each other.

Growing up, there were countless times I wished my parents would have just talked to me and listened to me, instead, every little thing I did or said, I was smacked around for. In my late teens, I no longer cared, it was a way of life for me. I became rebellious, did things I am not proud of, and moved out and did more things I am not proud of, and left Jehovah for a very long time. My relationship with my parents now (I am 40) is still hard.

I have reversed that with my own kids, and they are 14 and 15, and I am so proud of them, and I am so happy that they trust me and confide in me about things that I never knew any teenager to talk to their parents about. Sometimes I am a bit shocked by what they talk to me about, but I am happy they are asking for my help rather then some other kids. It makes me feel good that I am not just "mom" but they call me their "friend"

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There is a big difference between discipline - which is training; and punishment - which are consequences from not obeying the training.

The whole problem with any study done about punishment is that the world does not make the distinction between punishment done out of love and, punishment done in anger. Even a spanking - perhaps not even what we could consider severe - can be damaging when done in anger (just as withholding the correct degree of punishment can be extremely damaging). That's a big problem now as this system gets closer to its finish. (Most people can't get it right so they start saying don't do it at all if you're completely mess it up! Because, it is, after all, not a fair fight AT ALL between an adult and a child.) A child is well aware of the parent's emotional state when receiving punishment. Also, what kind of dialogue accompanies it? Which brings up another point the study didn't take into account - verbal punishment versus verbal abuse. This world is so messed up - the one thing I do know for a certainty is that verbal and emotional abuse can be just as damaging (sometimes, more) than even physical. I never had kids partly because I didn't think I could possibly keep from punishing in anger. I have utmost respect for parents who chose to take this on. And absolute astonishment for those who accomplish it! My heart goes out to all of you wonderful brothers and sisters who are trying so hard to train your children according to Bible principles.:kisscheek::encourage::givehug:

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You make a very goo d point Willow. Parents must keep their anger in check. Many people remember their childhood and use it as their template for their own family. When one comes from a violent or dysfunctional home . .they grow up and know it. Often it can be used in the positive to 'do better than my folks did'. I used that and succeeded. I would still change things if I had a do-over but I experienced some wrongs and did not visit them on my kids. I twised them up in my own way.:lol1:

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These types of studies advocate the spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child attitude. Now in days, if you discipline your child and his teacher is aware of it, get ready for children and families to be ringing your door bell. Society loves studies like this because takes the power away from the parents who need to discipline their children. Yes, some parents are extreme and must be dealt with. But what about others who have children that are ungovernable? To what level or degree enters violence when one disciplines their children? Who decides? This report is inconclusive with not nearly enough supporting data. There is no data on age range, demographic, historical or religious data, family background or history of violence.

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